Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call

Alpana hurried home.  She was longing to have a steaming cup of tea. As she entered the house, Shalu came running up to her, excitedly recounting her day at college. Rajesh was waited patiently for his turn.

As Alpana waited for the tea to brew, she reached for her “Magic Box”, as she thought of it. It contained all her favorite munchies. Comfort food. Soul food. Call it what you will, but boy, she loved that box! Chivda, roasted cashewnuts, cake, Bourbon Biscuits, Chocolate chip cookies. A veritable foodie treasure trove!  By the time the tea was ready, she had polished off a bowl of the savory from Pune. Tea was accompanied by a bowl of cookies and cake.

“I’m going to lie down for a while before I go for aerobics!” Alpana announced, before she disappeared into her bedroom. It was a while before she finally surfaced. 

In time for dinner. 

“What’s for dessert?” asked Rajesh as he slid into the dining chair. 

“Lemon cheesecake!” answered Shalu, smiling. “I saw Mom make it before she left for office today.”

 It was the norm in their family. Each meal was followed by dessert which was as important, if not more, than the meal itself.  


The next day was busy. As Alpana took the stairs on her way back from the heavy business lunch, she felt a tad breathless. By the time she reached her office, she was decidedly uncomfortable. There was a nagging pain in her chest as well as her left shoulder. Her breath was getting raspier. 

“Pooja,” she called out to her assistant, “Can you help me?” And passed out. 


“What happened?” she asked Rajesh as she opened her eyes in a hospital room. 

“Nothing, honey, just a tiny black-out.” He answered, reassuringly.

Dr Jaya Menon, her old friend, came bustling in just then. She was more forthright. 

 “Look here, Alpana, it’s not alarmingly serious, but you have to know. You have had a mild heart attack.” 

Alpana was completely taken aback. Not shattered but shaken. She was just 45. 

As she rested in the hospital over the next few days, she had time to reflect. She was a healthy 75 kgs on a 5’5” frame. Her lifestyle had caught up with her. It had to.

It was time to act. Now. 

The day she came back home, she threw her “Magic Box” into the dumpster. The next week she signed up with a nutritionist and took a family subscription to the Gym. 

Slowly but surely, it worked.

Family fun time was going for morning walks and weekend treks.  Meals were still happy times, but healthy was the keyword. Sweets and snacks were restricted to small portions over the weekend. Fruits were a favorite. No day was complete without the Gym. 

All of them shed pounds and sizes. 

At the 6-monthly review today, Alpana was 10 kgs lighter. 

Alpana hurried home. She was looking forward to their evening jog. 

Tomorrow was her first 10 km run. 

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Aruna Menon
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